McCain Campaign Gets Local Coverage
Arizona Sen. John McCain's (R) presidential campaign appeared to pull off a successful made-for-local television event today in Richmond, the first of what will likely be many staged media events to get the GOP message out over the local, as well as national, news.
In a sweltering warehouse in an industrial neighborhood in Richmond, the campaign gathered an ethnically diverse group of two dozen small business owners to applaud McCain's economic message while being critical of his Democratic opponent, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), for wanting to raise taxes.
Even though the event had little news value, it was attended by reporters or cameramen from at least two Richmond-area television stations, a Charlottesville station, two radio stations, the Richmond Times Dispatch and the Washington Post.
Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell (R) and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R), two key McCain surrogates in Virginia, addressed a crowd of 20 supporters and reporters as the small business owners made up the backdrop.
"McCain gets the fundamental truth about the economy, which is you cannot tax your way to prosperity," said McDonnell, who also spent 45 minutes on Richmond's WRVA radio talking about McCain's economic plans later in the day.
Christy Swanson, owner of CKB Swanson Inc., also spoke in the warehouse. She told reporters she used to be an Obama supporter, but switched to McCain after hearing him spoke at a recent National Federation of Independent Business convention.
"While I am a Democrat, I am proud to support John McCain for president and looking forward to helping him to victory in November," said Swanson, who is Asian.
Claudia Garcia Gonzalez, an Hispanic who co-owns of KLM Drywall, spoke to the television cameras in broken English.
"John McCain's economic plan help company like mine expand and create more jobs," Gonzalez said.
The issue of taxes has historically been a potent political issue in Virginia, especially in the Richmond media market. Today's event was designed to coincide with McCains' release of his proposal to bolster economic growth and eliminate the federal budget deficit.
Bolling said the event was the first in a "series of press conferences" that would be held this summer and fall to show how McCain's and Obama's proposed policies will affect Virginians.
Bolling noted there are 643,000 small businesses in Virginia.
"On almost every single issue, John McCain's policies are right for small business and America and Barack Obama's policies are wrong for small businesses and America," Bolling said.
Jared Leopold, spokesman for the Virginia Democratic Party's coordinated campaign, responded by saying, "The last thing that Virginia small business owners need is another four years of George W. Bush's economics."
"John McCain has made it clear that he's running for George Bush's third term, offering repackaged Bush policies that will be even more disastrous for Virginia small businesses," Leopold said.
July 7, 2008; 6:43 PM ET
Categories: Election 2008/President , Tim Craig
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